Today is an exciting day for me and so many things have brought me here. And though the ride was not always smooth and the destination unknown, one thing was crystal clear. I had a dream.
After suddenly losing my eyesight when I was 26 years old, I realized my life on this planet must have meaning. I went on a quest to figure out my purpose only to discover I knew it all along.
Turns out my purpose is to use my voice to help people see that anything is possible in the face of adversity.
The first time I got up on stage to speak, to do everything in my heart and soul to connect and inspire the souls in front of me to be moved by something I said – anything I said – ignited a fire inside my belly like nothing I have ever felt before!
My heartbeat was thumping so hard I thought people could see it through my shirt. The chatter died down after a minute and the only sound you could hear was me – my voice echoing from the speakers, off the walls and in to the minds and hearts of 300 people. So much clapping. It was deafening.
In that moment, I realized the heartbeat, the thumping, the echoing, the clapping was truly the most beautiful noise! The flame was lit.
Another life experience that sparked my desire to inspire and create positive change was coming out of the closet to my family and friends when I was 24 years old. It was the scariest thing I have ever done, but also the most empowering. Feeling accepted, respected, valued and loved was important to me then and even more important to me now.
Believing in myself was the key ingredient to not only my survival, but also my success. With that came the ability to help others believe in themselves. Accept themselves and others for who they are and believe that anything is possible in the face of adversity. Add diversity and inclusion to the mix along with the power of choice vs. actual rights and my fire is at a roar!
I am blind and I am gay – and those things might make me look different in other people’s eyes – but that’s okay. Different is the new beautiful! And I’m all about being beautiful 😉
Finally, the ultimate fuel that continues to feed my speaking dream is each and every one of you! It fuels me to know that you, your friends, your co-workers and your organization have created change within because my unique perspective inspired and impacted you in some way.
So, thank you for keeping my fire burning bright and I hope you will continue to journey with me as I take this next step with Tamara Speaks.
And don’t forget, whether you are listening to me speak or chasing your own dreams, stop, take a deep breath and recognize your own beautiful noise!